Aim: Rhizobacteria can influence plant growth and metal accumulation. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of rhizobacterial inoculants on the Ni phytoextraction efficiency of the Ni-hyperaccumulator Alyssum pintodasilvae. Method: In a preliminary screening 15 metal-tolerant bacterial strains were tested for their plant growth promoting (PGP) capacity or effect on Ni bioaccumulation. Strains were selected for their Ni tolerance, plant growth promoting traits and Ni solubilizing capacity. In a re-inoculation experiment five of the previously screened bacterial isolates were used to inoculate A. pintodasilvae in two contrasting Ni-rich soils (a serpentine (SP) soil and a sewage sludge-affected agricultural (LF) soil). Results: Plant growth was greater in serpentine soil (where it grows naturally) than in the LF soil, probably due to Cd phytotoxicity. Rhizobacterial inoculants influenced plant growth and Ni uptake and accumulation, but the effect of the strains was dependent upon soil type. The increase in plant biomass and/or Ni accumulation significantly promoted shoot Ni removal. Conclusion: One strain (Arthrobacter nicotinovorans SA40) was able to promote plant growth and phytoextraction of Ni in both soil types and could be a useful candidate for future field-based trials.
- Plant growth promoting bacteria (PGPB)
- Serpentine soils